patroni
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 7:49 am

Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:06 pm

Hello,

Until 1999, Icelandair operated transatlantic services out of Luxembourg via Keflavik to JFK and other destinations in the USA. I remember from the 1980s, when they still used DC-8's, that they were one of the cheapest possibilities to get to the USA, and even operated bus feeders from cities in Germany and France to LUX to attract more business.

Now my question: WHY exactly were thy able to undercut the transatlantic fares of LH, BA, AF etc?

I think it had to do with the fact that Luxembourg had no national carrier flying to the USA, so Icelandair could get traffic rights more easily. Second I think they were not IATA members so that they did not have to adhere to the fares agreed at the IATA passenger service conferences.

Thanks for anyone with some facts to confirm my thoughts or corrections.

Cheers,
Tom
 
AMS
Posts: 1620
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:14 pm

Definitely FI was one of the first airlines to offer very low fares between Europe and the US. Also I believe that FI flew to LUX in the Mid 90's.
I guess that FI always has most of the time "filled flights" due to their low fares, and also FI is trying to promote Iceland as a stopover.

The only complaints a hear from FI passengers is that they have to fly on a cramped 757.

Regards,
AMS
 
BostonGuy
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:20 pm

As I recall Icelandair (formerly Icelandic) is not a member of IATA and was not bound to the fare regulations that other mainline operators were.

Plus, I do believe Iceland and Luxemburg have an open-skies agreement with the US.

I've flew Icelandic frequently to Europe when in college in Germany... very low fares, and though the seating has always been a tight fit (DC-8's with all economy class) the service and food was quite nice.

I also flew Icelandair in '86 from MCO to Luxemburg nonstop. Interestingly, the flight was direct from BWI to Luxemburg with a stop in MCO. Geography-challenged Baltimore residents were always surprised when the final leg from MCO to Luxemburg passed directly over BWI about 5 hours after they had departed. A Rather amusing routing... and the return leg was Luxemburg to BWI with a stop in MCO!

[Edited 2004-07-24 15:25:14]
 
ATAflyer
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:10 pm

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:28 pm

Hello All, I flew Loftleidir Icelandic many times before the merger with Icelandair. The stretch DC-8s were fine with me, and the stopover in Iceland was a big plus too. I also flew their other airline to LUX, International Air Bahama, which had the red/white DC-8's to/from Nassau...good service, free drinks.
Loftleidir was not a member of IATA so could undercut the fares of the big airlines. For me, LUX was always the perfect destination, in the heart of Europe. Rail connections were perfectly easy to navigate and the bus service to Germany I used several times. I miss going into the LUX airport now, in fact, and when we start Trans-Atlantic service next year I find myself wishing the LUX could be one of our destinations!
Greetings to all from an ATA crewmember.
A better way to fly
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:36 pm

I remember from the 1980s, when they still used DC-8's, that they were one of the cheapest possibilities to get to the USA
I have found that still today they have some good fares to Europe (via KEF), but flying directly to KEF is a couple hundred dollars more!  Nuts

-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
patroni
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 7:49 am

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:50 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies so far. You are right, I now also remember that Icelandair used to fly nonstop from LUX to the USA, bypassing Iceland (7th freedom). I think they did that with the DC-10 in 1979 as well.

Regarding the IATA membership, I always thought that Icelandair was not member of IATA, until I found this on their website :
Icelandair has been a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) since 1950,

So in the beginning I assume that Loftleidir was no IATA member. But how did this develop when the "old" Icelandair and Loftleidir merged in 1973? Just wondering as they kept their fares at a much lower level than the competition until well in the 1990s....

@ ATAflyer: You are absolutely welcome here! LUX needs some diversification  Big grin

Cheers,
Tom

edited for removing the italics from the non-quote portion...

[Edited 2004-07-24 15:54:21]
 
jeffrito
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon May 28, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:58 pm

I've flown 'em several times and really don't mind the 757's, although I'd prefer a widebody if the price were the same.

I am impressed by the fact that, for a relatively small airline, they really have their own operation: maintenance, catering, ground services, etc. They must run these efficiently!

My impression, not based on facts, is that their operations are much more "lightweight" and flexible than competitors like SAS, etc. The Iceland hub is clearly much easier and less expensive to operate than, say AMS, CPH, LHR, AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, CDG, etc.

BTW, wouldn't they make a great customer for the 7E7?

Also, is it just me, or do they seem to have remarkably few weather delays resulting from problems with their Iceland hub?
 
ATAflyer
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:10 pm

RE: Icelandair Transatlantic Services In The Past

Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:01 pm

Thanks Patroni, very much. I think it would be a win/win for everyone, since people would come from LUX, Belgium, Germany and Eastern France. But I don't make these decisions, I am busy enough in the cabin taking care of our customers.  Big grin
The airport at LUX is also easy to navigate and has a comfortable feel to it.
I imagine it is a lot quieter there now, with no trans-atlantic service.
Best greetings!
A better way to fly

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: airnorth, art, AsiaTravel, Baidu [Spider], Kiwirob, olympic472, QANTAS747-438, RRTrent, Scorpio, skedguy, spiplane, StTim and 223 guests